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Remarks by Chargé d'Affaires Zhang Lei at the Online Reception Celebrating the 71st Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China

Senator the Honourable Dr. Amery Browne, Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago,

Mr. Yung Gen Siu, President of the China Society in Trinidad and Tobago,

Members of the diplomatic corps and Chinese community,

Friends from the media,

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

A very good evening to you all!

In this year, October 1st marks the 71st anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China as well as the Mid-autumn Festival, a traditional Chinese festival of family reunion. It is my great pleasure to welcome you all to join this online celebration event. On this auspicious occasion, I also extend my warm greetings and congratulations to all overseas Chinese in Trinidad and Tobago.

The sudden and unexpected outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year is the most serious global public health emergency that humanity has experienced over the past century. With a continual resurgence in many parts of the world, the deepest economic recession since the post World War period looms ahead. All countries – indeed, the entire international community – are confronting this major historical test. The Chinese people are experiencing the same suffering caused by the epidemic to people of all countries and we deeply regret the loved ones who have been lost to the virus in so many countries. We also pay tribute to those who are at the frontline fighting the epidemic and saving lives, and express our best wishes to those who are infected with the virus and are still being treated. In this crisis, we have seen people of different countries coming together. We have seen courage, resolve and compassion lighting these dark hours, and we have all confronted the disaster head on. The virus will be defeated! Humanity will win this battle!

Ladies, gentlemen and friends,

China was the first country to suffer from this virus and also the first to start fighting this uphill battle against the epidemic. Under the strong leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) with President Xi Jinping at the core, each and every Chinese citizen rose to the challenge and responded to it bravely, achieving major strategic results. China has struck a balance between epidemic prevention and control and economic and social development, while providing assistance to other countries and regions affected by the pandemic. Our country has contributed Chinese research and experience, doing its part in global epidemic prevention and control and economic recovery, presenting a hard-won solution to the world.

-----Fighting the epidemic with all our strength and convey confidence across the globe. The CPC Central Committee with Xi Jinping at the core leads the people of all ethnic groups across the country to uphold the people's supremacy and life supremacy. With firm courage and perseverance, they raced against time to quickly start a people's war against the epidemic. In one month, the spread of the epidemic was initially curbed; in two months, the number of new cases in local areas began to drop to single digits; in three months, we won the battle of Wuhan, Hubei, and saw the annihilation of clustered epidemic in local areas. Meanwhile, batches of medical supplies were shipped to all parts of the world. "Cloud conferences" one after another shared China's anti-epidemic experience and technology... ...The Chinese government and people have helped to save the lives of thousands of people around the world with concrete actions and contributed to the maintenance of global health and safety.

----Coordination of development both internally and externally injecting momentum into the world economy. As the world's second largest economy, China lost no time in resuming work and production, seizing opportunities for a new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation, striving to build a new development pattern in which the domestic and international dual cycles promote each other, and gradually push the economy back to the growth track. It has made important contributions to a possible rapid recovery of the world economy. In the second quarter of 2020, China's economic growth turned the tide, becoming the first major economy to recover from the recession. As the largest developing country in the world, China is in the stage of simultaneous iteration and upgrading of new industrialization, informatization, urbanization, and agricultural modernization. It is a vast ocean with unlimited potential, which will definitely open up space for China's economic development and provide momentum to the recovery and growth of the world's economy.

----Win-win cooperation to build a community with a shared future for mankind. Since the outbreak of the epidemic, China has firmly supported the United Nations and the World Health Organization to play a leading role in global actions against the pandemic. China has strengthened cooperation in global public health governance with relevant United Nations agencies, and called on all countries to actively carry out international joint efforts. China advocates and provides international anti-epidemic assistance through various forms, which demonstrates China's sincerity of building a community with a shared future for mankind. Going forward, we will continue to share our epidemic control practices as well as diagnostics and therapeutics, provide support and assistance to countries in need, ensure stable global anti-epidemic supply chains, and actively participate in the global research on tracing the source and transmission of the virus. At the moment, several COVID-19 vaccines developed by China are in Phase III clinical trials. When they are available for use, these vaccines will be made a global public good, and they will be provided to developing countries on a priority basis. China will honor its commitment of providing 2 billion US dollars of international assistance over two years, further international cooperation in such fields as agriculture, poverty reduction, education, women and children, and climate change, and support other countries in restoring economic and social development.

Ladies, gentlemen and friends,

For China, 2020 is also a decisive year of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, of the battle against poverty, and the final year of implementing the 13th Five-Year Plan. Despite the epidemic, the Chinese people worked even harder to take the lost time back. Now the implementation of China's 13th Five-Year plan is about to complete with all objectives achieved. The 14th Five-Year Plan is in the making. We are confident that we will build a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way as scheduled, lift all rural poor people out of poverty under the current standards, and successfully achieve the first centenary goal.

Facing the future, under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with President Xi Jinping at the core, China will continue to practise the people-centered development philosophy and continue to meet the people's growing needs for a better life. No matter how the external environment changes, China will unswervingly deepen reform and open up. China will uphold principles of openness and inclusiveness to build an open world economy. China will actively participate in the reform and construction of the global governance system, and firmly uphold the international system with the United Nations at its core. China will firmly follow the path of peaceful development, open development, cooperative development and common development, and continue to be a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, and a defender of international order.

Ladies, gentlemen and friends,

The positive results of China's anti-epidemic struggle are inseparable from the precious moral support and material assistance provided by our good friend and partner Trinidad and Tobago. When the epidemic broke out in China, the government and people of Trinidad and Tobago immediately provided valuable support and donated medical supplies. This is a testimony of the long-standing strong relationship between our two countries and a testimony of the sincere friendship between us, which China will always cherish and remember.

After the outbreak of the epidemic in Trinidad and Tobago, China has also done its best to repay and help the people of this great country. China is closely following the development of the epidemic here, and appreciates the firm determination of the Government to overcome the epidemic with decisive and effective measures swiftly taken in the early stage of the outbreak. We believe that under the leadership of the Trinidad and Tobago government and with the joint efforts of the people, this country will soon triumph over the epidemic.

The friendly relations between China and Trinidad and Tobago have a long history and the friendship between the two peoples is solid and profound. Over the past 46 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, China and Trinidad and Tobago have always been close partners with a high degree of political mutual trust, cooperation and mutual benefit, and people-to-people bonds. The two sides always understand and accommodate each other's core interests and major concerns, and support each other in international affairs. Trinidad and Tobago is the first English-speaking Caribbean country to formally join the Belt and Road Initiative. Within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, friendly exchanges and mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields between China and Trinidad and Tobago have continued to deepen, bringing tangible benefits to the two peoples. Last year, our annual bilateral trade volume hit a new record high of 1 billion US dollars. Chinese investments and enterprises have gained a significant presence here and contributed to the local development.

Looking ahead, as we map out plans of Belt and Road cooperation, both countries are coordinating strategic planning for cooperation in the post-epidemic era, actively expanding and deepening cooperation in traditional and emerging fields such as infrastructure, health, finance, agriculture, tourism, education, etc.. Both sides will also continue to consolidate the foundation of the friendship between the two peoples, to promote the new and greater development of the China-Trinidad and Tobago Comprehensive Cooperative Partnership.

Ladies, gentlemen and friends,

The sudden outbreak of this pandemic may temporarily hinder our gathering, but it cannot stop our confidence and actions to work together for win-win cooperation. Standing at a new historical starting point, China-Trinidad and Tobago relations are facing unprecedented opportunities. I firmly believe that, as long as the two sides work together and move forward hand in hand, we will both be able to come out of this difficult period in human history and jointly create a bright future of shared prosperity!

Now may I invite you to join me in a toast:

To the new height of China-Trinidad and Tobago relations,

To the long-lasting China-Trinidad and Tobago friendship,

To the prosperity and wellbeing of our two countries and peoples,


Thanks again to all the guests for celebrating together with us, and I wish you a wonderful evening!

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